Rogerian argument

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Carl R. Rogers
Cogito ergo sum
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A Rogerian argument is a type of argument in which one tries to seek a middle ground between two opposing arguments rather than trying to dictate a "winner" unlike in a traditional Aristotelian argument.[1] This kind of argument is largely inspired by the 20th-century American psychologist Carl Rogers.Wikipedia One may "win" in a Rogerian argument by successfully convincing the opponent to consider alternative arguments.[2]

Alternative name[edit]

  • Rogerian rhetoric

Typical usage in argument[edit]

  1. Person 1: Raises argument A_1
  2. Person 2: Raises argument A_2
  3. Person 1 or 2: Creates argument A_3, a 'compromise' of A_1 and A_2 that typically contains premises from both A_1 and A_2
  4. Person 1 or 2: Argues argument A_3 typically using the combined premises of A_1 and A_2

As rhetoric versus an argument[edit]

Suppose that the Rogerian argument technique is being used on two arguments, A_1 and A_2, that are disjoint. That is, A_1 \cap A_2=\emptyset. Then, it is impossible to have a formal argument using Rogerian argument techniques; there are no common premises. At this point, the purpose of deploying Rogerian rhetoric is more analogous to a negotiation medium than an argument technique whose purpose is to simply understand the opposing argument rather than trying to change it.[3]

See also[edit]